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Directors' blog

IIBA and PMI Collaborating in Milton Keynes

The first joint event from the IIBA and PMI UK Chapters took place in Milton Keynes on 2nd October with over fifty people attending from both Business Analysis and Project Management disciplines. It was lovely to meet and talk to business analysts who work locally and were very welcoming.

There were three speakers on the evening and it was kicked off by Paul Minns from Hudson who spoke about the 3D skills assessment model they have developed and use in the recruitment of Business Analysts. The skills assessment is based on the SFIA framework and has enabled Hudson to work with companies to reduce the time to hire, lower the cost of recruitment and fully integrate with established recruitment processes. SFIA has been developed by e-skills UK and is supported by BCS the Charted Institute for Change. It has an extensive range of roles and competencies defined for many roles involved in IT and Business Change.

Annette Andresen from The Change Facilitator then spoke to us about stakeholder engagement, stressing very much that working with stakeholders is about engagement and not management. Annette provided the audience with many tips on how to achieve successful engagement with a range of stakeholders we are likely to meet whilst working on a Business Change programme or project. This included a grid she uses when planning stakeholder engagement which assesses stakeholders in terms of their level of support for the Change project and level of influence.

Other things covered by Annette were about how to present material to our stakeholders in the most effective way. She encouraged us to think about the message we want to convey and urged us to ensure that we start any interaction with a stakeholder with setting the context for the meeting/workshop including background of the project if the stakeholder is not involved on a day to day basis.

Annette then went on to speak about developing material for stakeholders including PowerPoint presentations and urged us to be clear on the purpose of the slide pack before putting it together, is it for a presentation or is it a reading document?

If for a presentation, some tips Annette gave us were:

The final session for the evening was a half hour discussion around the PM and BA working better together facilitated by me and Peter Parkes of Peak Performance, we are both NLP trainers. To open the debate we gave both a PM and BA perspective of how they may view a project. For example the PM is looking to close down scope early, keep to budget and defer additional functionality to a later release, whilst the BA is keen to ensure the business goals and needs are well defined and all perspectives are taken into account before closing scope. There was then a discussion with the audience on what competencies make a good BA and a good PM. Overall there were many similarities with each role using their competencies to gain a different perspective and view of the project and both roles having an overall vision to transform a business through delivering change.

Thank you to Penny Farrar of PMI UK and Karl Shepherd of IIBA UK for organising the event, let's hope this is the start of much collaboration between the IIBA and PMI in the UK.

Corrine Thomas
Operations Director